Freeport Police Department applies for domestic violence grant

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – In 2016, more than 330 calls for domestic violence crimes were made to the Freeport Police Department, leading to the arrests of 165 people.

Freeport Police say they are hoping to reduce that number over the next few years with a grant proposal that would offer more support for victims.

Freeport Police Chief Todd Barkalow says currently, the department is understaffed which is affecting their ability to provide more help to domestic violence victims. The department, along with VOICES is announcing they applied for a $450,000 grant that would provide a full time Special Victims Investigator that would be able to give their full attention to protecting the victims.

Barb Wells from VOICES of Stephenson County says to have someone dedicated to this will keep investigations from falling through the cracks.

"We as advocates if we get the referral from the police department, we will follow up. But there is not enough staff to make sure those connections are taking place for our victims and families,” says Wells.

The proposed three-year grant would also provide a victim advocate at VOICES and resources for law enforcement and victim services.